It is said that you can’t legislate against stupidity. However, governments can enact acts of parliament that fine people who disobey directives by doing stupid things that endanger themselves and others.

Victoria has been in a state of emergency since 16 March.

Victoria’s Emergency Management Act 1986, section 23, gives the Victorian Premier the power to also declare a state of disaster.

The state of disaster declared for all Victoria on 2 August, at 6pm, until 13 September, gives police more powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions.

According to University of Sydney law professor, Anne Twomey, the declaration deals with emergencies including “a plague or an epidemic”.

Professor Twomey states that the premier must be satisfied there is an emergency that “constitutes a significant and widespread danger to life or property in Victoria” in declaring a state of disaster.

It is against the backdrop of the declarations of states of emergency and disaster, that Melburnians must abide by lockdown rules.

Under the recent stage four restrictions, residents must stay home unless they are going out once a day to buy essentials, engaging in one-hour’s exercise, for medical or caregiving reasons and for work deemed essential.They must also wear a face covering outdoors, carry a work permit and abide by an 8pm to 5am curfew. They must conduct permitted movement within 5km of their home. Regional Victoria has stage three restrictions which are similar to stage four restrictions.

Breaking lockdown rules attracts fines. There is a $200 fine for failing to wear a face covering in public. There are also the on-the-spot fines of $1652 for breaching stay-at-home orders, with repeat offenders facing a maximum of $10,000, and a $4957 fine for breaching isolation orders for a second and subsequent time after testing positive for coronavirus, with repeat offenders facing a maximum $20,000 fine.
(For further information on COVID-19 restrictions and penalties go to

Below is a list of silly reasons Victorians have given for breaching stage three and four restrictions which have been designed to protect them and others from harm.

The list is not exhaustive and the cases appear in chronological order as they have been reported in the Melbourne and Australian media.


Party-goers will be out of pocket for more than a birthday present after police caught 16 people celebrating with 20 KFC meals.

Ambulance officers noticed two people ordering about 20 KFC meals in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburb of Dandenong, at 1.30am. The pair’s car registration led police to a townhouse where 16 people were celebrating a birthday.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton described the behaviour as “ridiculous” and a “very expensive” night for party-goers with $26,000 in fines issued.

He dubbed the function “a heck of a birthday party to recall”. (The Age”, 10 July)

READ MORE: $5,000 fines for Victorians who violate self-isolation requirements, and special work permits required


There’s something about chicken that also saw a man risk a fine to drive more than 30km from Melbourne’s west in Werribee, for a particular chicken curry.(6pm news, Channel 9, 17 July).

Seizing the opportunity for publicity, the restaurant has subsequently offered the man free butter chicken for a year once restrictions are lifted.(, 22 July.)

Fines for #COVID19 party in Victoria. @vicpdcanada gives a $2300 violation ticket Friday night.#bcpoli

— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) August 22, 2020


In a 24-hour period to 1 August, police handed out 168 fines for breaches. They included the following: fining a Melbourne man who drove to the north-east border town of Wodonga for a Big Mac; another who drove from the north-west town of Bendigo to 100km south to Sunbury for takeaway; a Melbourne man who drove 100km west to Ballarat “for fresh air”; and a rulebreaker who went from inner-city Thornbury to the opposite side of the city in Werribee for a haircut. (6pm news, Chanel 7, 1 August.)

Another breacher travelled from opposite sides of Melbourne, from Werribee in the west to Springvale in the south-east, for groceries.
(, 1 August).


Victoria’s Chief Police Commissioner, Shane Patton, must have been shaking his head in disbelief when he outlined that a road stop found a woman broke curfew because she said she was working, yet she was in her car in her pyjamas with two dogs in the back. (“Mornings”, 774 ABC radio, 6 August)


Police did not hesitate to fine a man out in the wee hours of 3.30am despite him saying he was breaching curfew because he was feeding his uncle’s horse. (6pm News, Channel 7, 7 August).


Three people were fined on Monday 10 August after a video showing them filming themselves going out about 2.30am the day before to buy takeaway, in Melbourne’s CBD.

Another man was fined after telling police he was practicing to become a DJ when he was discovered in someone’s house. (,11 August.)


Police were suspicious when they saw a man in a car park, in the western inner-city Melbourne suburb of Maribyrnong. More than 5km from his house, the man told police he wanted some peace and quiet after his housemate and their intimate partner were being “too loud in the bedroom”.(, 11 August.)

To all the Karens out there: This sign appears on the door of a dwelling at 338A, Victoria St, Richmond. The property is nextdoor to the pub and eatery, The National Hotel. Photo: Dora Houpis


Not wanting to be alone while he waited for his coronavirus test results, one man went to a friend’s house. Police fined the man for being away from home.

Another man told police he wasn’t wearing a mask because he had a pimple on his chin. (“Mornings”, 3AW, 13 August)

READ MORE: Victoria’s on-the-spot fines for breaching 2-person rule at $1,652


When questioned by police for not wearing a mask, one man said he didn’t have to wear the face covering because he had immunity to coronavirus.

Another man had been fined 10 times by mid- August and yet another man said he broke curfew so he could buy cheaper groceries. (Noon news, 774 ABC radio, 14 August.)


A man was fined for driving outside of curfew hours as he watched Netflix on his mobile phone. (6pm news, Channel 7, 15 August).


A man drew attention to himself when police saw him driving erratically in Melbourne’s western suburbs, in the City of Brimbank. He was more than 5km from his home and told police he was out to “buy a fish tank for his frog”.

In another incident, a man reversing on the Calder Freeway to avoid a police checkpoint, told police he was going to a friends’ farm to help with their new baby goats. (, 18 August)

READ MORE: Fines could replace suspensions


Police fined a Melbourne man travelling 80km from Keilor Downs to Geelong in the state’s south-west to go fishing. (2pm news, 3AW, 19 August.)



Just a reminder that although school is out for the summer, playground zones are still in effect, including on weekends. In playground zones, a 30 km/hr speed limit is in effect from dawn to dusk, 365 days of the year. The fines range from $196 to $483 and 3 points. #csaan ^jc

— cspoliceservice (@cspoliceservice) August 8, 2020